The opera comes to Magaliessig

The event managed to raise R18 000 from tickets and a further R3 000 was raised through donations with more hoped for in the future.


Some big voices put on a big performance when the Gauteng Opera came to Magaliessig on 6 April and performed a sold-out show at the Merrow Down Country Club.

The performance was in support of the organisation, which created employment and educational opportunities for South African opera singers for over 18 years. Unfortunately, Gauteng Opera was forced to close down at the end of March due to financial woes, but a lover of the genre, Vera Harvey wanted to play her part in supporting its artists.

“I read a newspaper where it explained that the opera was closing down,” Harvey told the Review during the evening’s interval. “I didn’t want that to happen, so we organised this event to help fundraise.

“Within 50 minutes all tickets were sold out. It’s important to support people with such talent… Although opera is often thought of as Eurocentric, the organisation shows that opera is for everyone.”

The audience called for two encore performances after the show officially ended. Photo: Robyn Kirk

There were six singers and an accompanying pianist present on the evening, and the show included renditions of Ava Maria, Ti Ameró and That’s Amore. Khayakazi Madlala sang soprano, Yolanda Nyembezi sang mezzo-soprano, Phenye Modiane and Kagiso Boroko sang tenor and Chuma Sijequa and Solly Motaung sang baritone. Paul Ferreira was the accompanist.

“The audience has been lovely,” said Modiane, who is also the artistic director. “We, the performers, are having fun, because they are having fun.”

The event managed to raise R18 000 from tickets and a further R3 000 was raised through donations with more hoped for in the future.

“It was an absolute privilege to be here,” said Arnold Cloete, the chief operating officer for Gauteng Opera. “After we closed down, the singers actually came to me and said they wanted to keep performing, even if it had to be for free. We’re performers, that’s what we do and wherever we can open our mouths [to sing], we will.

“Sometimes we have to fight for something that we believe is important. Hopefully, we’ll start making enough money to carry on supporting local artists.”

Details: www.gautengopera.org

Brian Watson, Bob van Zyl and Fred Maurus thoroughly enjoyed the performance. Photo: Robyn Kirk
Phenye Modiane is the artistic director for the Gauteng Opera, as well as a tenor. Photo: Robyn Kirk
Audrey Pentz and Betty Parker enjoy some outside air during the interval. Photo: Robyn Kirk
Otto Redlich and Irene Pellegrini booked their tickets to enjoy the Gauteng Opera’s visit to Merrow Down Country Club. Photo: Robyn Kirk


Talk to us by emailing our news editor, Sarah Koning, at sarahk@caxton.co.za

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